18 April 2011

Clarky's Review: Inside

I was intrigued to see what Ally brought to the table this week after talking it up as his most balls out choice. Given that he had previously brought The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to the table I wasn't sure what to expect. Was this going to be another Ally double bluff and we would be watching Ghostbusters, or had he sourced a snuff movie from some dodgy website. It turned out that the film was more comparable to the latter unfortunately.

Inside was certainly a balls out movie and is unflinching in its approach to horror. Whilst, I am happy to watch anything that is put in front of me I find the current trend of torture horror is not for me. It's not that I have a problem with what is on screen necessarily, its more that the torture seems to be the main point of the film and the horror aspect. How exactly filmmakers can justify that showing one disgusting scene after another is horror is beyond me. A good horror has nuance, it get's inside your head and affects your most primal instincts, but most of all it is an art form. Sure you could argue that making someone squirm is making them react to what is shown on screen on the most basic level, but is that enough to classify you as a horror film. I've watched documentaries on surgery that have made me squirm but I wouldn't tell my friends that I had seen a cutting edge horror movie or bring it to horror club!

Horror movies need to be more than that in my opinion. It has to have some heart and soul, and the terror needs to come from something else. The gore should be a reaction to the plot moving forward rather than the cause.

Inside tries very hard to achieve this but doesn't quite achieve it. I'm not sure whether part of this was due to the fact that Ally and Fin built the film up so much that I was expecting the most wizard horror film of horror club to date, or if it is a genuine failing on the part of the filmmakers.

In my opinion the film started excellently and I found the pregnant women aspect a little much but an interesting take for a horror film. It certainly plays to your base fears of survival and vulnerability. For years filmmakers have played upon this aspect (just look at The Night of the Hunter last week) so in these days of taking everything to the nth degree I suppose it was only a matter of time before a foetus became the protagonist!

I also enjoyed the brisk pace of the first 15 minutes, setting up the story efficiently and with an impending feeling of dread. With the first few scenes in the house I thought we had another The House of the Devil on our hands. Every shot was filled with dark corners daring your eyes to flit away as you felt like something was lurking in the background. Indeed, the first shot of Beatrice Dalles character inside the house is one of the best shots I have seen at horror club this year, if not ever, both in terms of technical ability and of tension. If the film carried on like this I'm sure that I would be writing that this was my new number one film.

Instead the tone of the movie changes in an instant and not for the better. From what appeared to be the beginning of a slow assault of terror it quickly moved into an actiony gore fest. I can't help but feel that if the filmmakers had kept the identity of the mystery visitor a secret for longer and had kept her outside the house for most of the film the better this movie would have been.

There were some impressive action scenes, but once they got Sarah locked in the bathroom there was only so many ways the story could go and it felt like, that for the most part, you knew every footstep that the film was going to take. This was the most disappointing thing for me, for whilst this film was clearly innovative in some areas in others the scares were signposted a mile off and the gore became the main focus.

The last 5 minutes the film seems to be on steriods and what came before seems like small fries. Again, it just seemed to be gore, gore then a wee bit more gore, which almost became boring rather than shocking.

Whilst, The House of the Devil last year showed us how to wring the tension out of every scene by playing with peoples preconceptions of horror and well known horror tropes, Inside seems to abide by them after the first 15 minutes and undid any goodwill it had built up. Whilst I would say that my body was tense for a few scenes, this was nothing compared to The House of the Devil and at least 80% of these scenes were due to gore rather than being scared. Inside just doesn't have the scares to back up the gore unfortunately.

I'm glad Ally brought this to the table, there were a couple of scenes of pure dread, at least 1 big jump and one off the most unsettling closing shots I have seen in a while that is sure to stick with you once the credits roll. I may not have enjoyed the film at the time, but 4 days later the film is still fresh in my mind and it certainly caused a lot of discussion after the initial viewing on Thursday night. And although I don't think it was scary enough would be lying if I said I didn't feel a bit uncomfortable going to bed on Thursday in the flat by myself!

1 comment:

  1. Clarky nice review like how your using wizard a word that needs to be used more.


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